Suing The Devil

Nobody makes terribly blunt and bluntly terrible propaganda movies like the Evangelical Christians:


Not a bad cast selling their souls in this one. Surprising how many mainstream actors have been appearing in these preachy schlocky un-self-aware imagination-free self-parodies the Evangelicals make.

The kind of pathetic thing is that I remember watching Devil’s Advocate as an Evangelical Christian in college with three of my fellow devout friends and we were amazed by it. We could not believe that Hollywood made a film that made what we considered “sinful” to look so convincingly awful, as we thought it was. The nonsensical technical details of the film’s theology aside, we thought it was a powerfully “convicting” take on the devil. (I still, personally, think it is the best rendering of that mythic concept I have ever seen.) We prayed lots over our sinfulness then and thereafter as two of us became “accountability partners” for a couple of years after seeing that movie.

But leave it to the Evangelicals to try to make a film of their own about the devil and the courtroom and this ham-handed paint-by-numbers treacle is about all they can manage.

H/T: Unreasonable Faith

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • teawithbertrand

    The following is an excerpt from a review of the film by Pastor Mike on IMDb.

    “In response to some juvenile critic’s comments that the film “as too heavy on the “faith message or God message” or the acting, etc: Wait until Judgment Day. You can explain why you bashed a worthy film to God himself (as Pascal said, “If there’s a 1% chance of God, it’s not worth it”)”

    There you have it; LIKE THIS MOVIE OR ELSE. I recommend that all Xians not only see the movie, but keep their ticket stubs handy for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

  • lexaequitas

    Pacino’s speech in Devil’s Advocate was pretty classic. It’s too bad they had Reeves playing opposite him.

  • sklapre

    It was an especially nice touch, taking pains to point out how smart and well-educated the lawyers for “The Devil” were. After all, everyone knows being intelligent and/or having an education = elitist (elitist being just another word for liberal heathen).

  • William

    Are we sure this is serious? Poe’s Law is punching me in the face on this one.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    From a promo press release announcing that “Suing the Devil” would open “in select theaters nationwide” last month:

    “It’s a landmark achievement in filmmaking,” says one pastor. “It’s one of the best Christian films ever made — if not the best.” … the film is turning the heads of every Believer. … ‘Suing the Devil’ also made the list of WIRED Magazine’s ‘Top Summer Movies That Will Rock Your World.’

    And from a follow-up two weeks later:

    … the second highest-grossing average of any independent film in the nation. … the film has been having an emotional impact that is being compared to ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ … “So many people are us telling how the film opened their eyes to the devil’s tactics,” says Chey. “We had one story where a couple had a troubled marriage for 17 years. The morning after they saw the film, they restored their marriage and opened their house up for worship. Another was an atheist, who came to the front of the theater, and got on his knees after another screening. And yet another was a gang-member who accepted Christ because of the movie. Incredible.”

    Please look up the literal meaning of that last word, Mr. Chey.

    • William

      So it is real then. Wow. Then it seems the internet has simultaneously taught me about Poe’s Law and ruined my filter for it.

  • Stevarious

    So, umm… So wait. If the devil DOES show up, and performs supernatural acts to prove that he IS the devil, isn’t that objective proof that he (and therefore god) exists? Doesn’t that obviate faith, and (a la Douglas Adams) destroy god? Since God is nothing without faith, then the easiest thing Satan could do to ‘win’ is show up and prove he’s real, so the fact that he HASN’T done exactly what this movie describes proves he doesn’t exist, and therefore neither does christianity?

    I’m confoozled.

  • Quincyme

    Great trolling. Loved it.

  • Sean

    I’m confused on so many levels. How does the plaintiff find the devil? Who is the devil supposed to be (clearly he’s rich, but other than that)? Why $8 trillion? Does this guy actually have that much?

    Why does he bother showing up to court in the first place, when such a bizarre case could be easily dismissed? If he’s trying to stop people from being/becoming Christians, why does he show off in such a manner as to frighten people into turning to God? He seems to be trying to undermine Christianity using Satanism rather than atheism; is that really his best bet? For that matter, is he too stupid to realize that assaulting a random enthusiast outside a courthouse isn’t going to help his case?

    Do people not realize that 214 is so far from the range that IQ tests are calibrated for, that the score is essentially meaningless at that point (and that successful leaders usually don’t score higher than 150 anyway)? (Wait; on second thought, I’m asking too much from a Christian film.)

    Wouldn’t the judge, at some point, figure that the devil is not a citizen of any particular country, and certainly not in her jurisdiction?

    • Eurochris

      I have actually seen this movie. It is almost impossible to describe! The script must have been written by a retarded six-year-old with serious head trauma. The director must have been off the set buying crack and the actors have possibly been exposed to experimental high voltage ECT-treatment (except for McDowell).
      I will try to answer some of the questions to my best abbilities (may contain spoilers):
      The plaintiff tries to sue the devil in absentia to “expose him”, however the judge orders him to attempt to contact the devil (by leaving letters in strip clubs, oil companies etc).
      The devil is just some used-car salesman, who must be doing pretty well (he hires the worlds top ten lawyers).
      The $8 trillion is apparently some arbitrary amount pulled out of thin air.
      To my understanding, the devil shows up in court to… subvert his own plan about convincing people that he does not exists?
      Perheps the Lord works in mysterious ways, but the devil even more so. However, he tries to plead insanity when he starts losing. Very few of the devil’s action are explained by anything but stupidity and arrogance.
      Regarding jurisdiction in this case, apparently it is an international humans right court that allows people to sue each other for money?
      Watch the movie, it is incredible :-)

      Bonus info:
      It is stated in the movie that the main character has “done internet porn” more than 300 times!

      The Bible is admissable as evidence until someone can prove “those fairytale allegations” against the good book!

    • Daniel Fincke

      It sounds epic.

  • Karen

    I went with a group of people – over 10 – at the AMC Theater.

    Very impressive film. Everyone in my group loved the movie.

    We’re educated. We have families. We’re normal people. We also follow and believe in Christ.

    Truthfully, Malcolm did an excellent job playing the Devil, but two of the actors were not exceptional. The storyline made you think apologetically about God’s existence in an intelligent manner.

    I give the movie a 9 out of 10.

  • Doug Alder

    I thought it quite apropos that whilst reading this in Google reader the ad placement was for Scientology :)

  • roggg

    I don’t know… maybe it’s just me. I’m an atheist, but this looks hilariously awesome to me.

  • anthony

    Is this a real live “film?” … [looks it up on IMDB] …

    Holy crap, it is! My head is absolutely brimming with WTF-ery right now. Suing the Devil? Seriously?